Winter Engineering and Environment update 2017

During the start up of the Archive Project the Team tracked down ‘Polish’ Jack Chabuda who worked on the Pier immediately post WW2 and interviewed him about the tasks and methods of running the Pier. These records are available in the Hastings Pier Charity Archives all collated by a keen group of Volunteers.

‘Polish’ Jack 1957                              Column and bracing inspection 2017

 

Work continues on the structure much in the same vein as was done 60 year ago and throughout the Pier’s history.

Column repair clamp installation 1957         Bracing repair clamp installation 2017

You can explore the HPC Archives at http://digital-memory.hastingspier.org.uk/

In preparation for the winter storms jetsam of nets and cordage is stripped back and removed as much as possible to minimise the stress from surging waves on the structure.

The west wind causes scour under the Pier and the beach shingle levels periodically drop to expose old conflagration steels buried in the sand. These are cut up and removed to prevent them from being flicked up in a storm and damaging the cast iron columns. Monitoring the column depths exposed is keenly done and column conditions are noted. There are 12 columns under the Parade Extension which need abrasion guard replacements and others which will be due within 2 years when funds become available.  We breathe a sigh of relief with an east wind which brings sand deposition.

Also exposed are some of the Art Deco façade glazed blocks which have migrated along the sea bed. These caused a great problem in the 1930’s when the Pier Head was enhanced as the heavy façade started to crack as the Pier Head began to sink under the load. This phenomenon was halted by the installation of additional columns each side of existing ones and connecting them all together with the large triangular concrete caps which can be seen under the Pier Head at low water. In order to bring the Pier Head up to level for the deck it was necessary during the reconstruction to manufacture individual ‘Top Hats’ for each column of differing lengths.

Tightening the large X bracing bolts as well as replacing the Column Clamp and Horizontal Bull Head rail bolts is a routine task.

Goose Barnacleon jetsam                                      Column footing and steel debris

 

A few Moon jelly fish and a bioluminescent Compass jelly fish were spotted earlier this year and the Pier Head illuminations have enabled watchers to see Dabs and maybe Plaice swimming to the surface alongside the Pier. Fishermen have had success with flat fish, Mackerel and a Conger as well as Whiting and Pouting at the end of the Pier.

On some jetsam nets were Goose Barnacles (At one time it was thought that this crustacean developed into Barnacle Geese) and the occasion of the Full and New Moons have exposed the bases of the 1946’s Columns on which the Oysters cling. Larger Mussels farther out on structure can be gathered now that sea temperatures have dropped.

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